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Best and Brightest: ONR's 2020 Young Investigators

For Immediate Release: Apr 07, 2020

ARLINGTON, Va.—Today, (ONR) recognized awardees of the 2020 Young Investigator Program (YIP).

Twenty-six recipients will share $14 million in funding to conduct challenging scientific research that will benefit the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

“It’s no secret that our nation is in the midst of a great power competition,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. David Hahn. “To maintain a military edge over our adversaries, it’s critical that we attract the best and brightest scientists and engineers from across academia to address naval warfighting challenges. The Young Investigator Program does just that, and I’m honored to announce the recipients for 2020.”

The ONR YIP is a highly competitive early-career award program in which academic achievement and potential for scientific breakthrough are key factors in the evaluation process. The final candidates were chosen from more than 275 applicants—all of whom are college and university faculty and obtained a Ph.D. within the past seven years.

Awardees represent 19 academic institutions nationwide, supporting naval-relevant research including autonomy, wireless communications, energetics, power and energy, machine learning, artificial intelligence, sensors, weather forecasting, bio-tissue repair, hypersonics, metamaterials and nanomaterials.

The YIP awards support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to the planned research. Typical grants range from $510,000 to $750,000 over a three-year period.

Established in 1985, the ONR YIP is one of the nation’s oldest and most selective basic-research, early-career awards in science and technology. Its purpose is to fund tenure-track academic researchers, or equivalent, whose scientific pursuits show outstanding promise for supporting the Department of Defense, while also promoting their professional development.

View the list of 2020 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator awardees.

About the Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and nonprofit institutions, and more than 960 industry partners. ONR, through its commands, including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.